Recently I was playing a show in a rural town on the west coast of Ireland. I decided to call into the local newspaper to let them know that I was playing in a local venue in a few days time. They were interested to feature me in their local newspaper. I thought this was great and so the editor sat down at his computer to have a look at my website. He started to read my bio and then he said it was too much and would I have anything shorter that he could possibly use for the article. I showed him a shorter bio on my website. He again looked at it and appeared confused and then preceded to read the bio. With a sarcastic tone of voice he read the opening line of the bio. "Discovering the fallibility of fairytales at an early age prompted Richie Ros to undertake his own personal journey, that has since cumulated into his unique debut album Odyssey" He then stopped reading and said that he couldn't use that and again in a sarcastic tone of voice while sneeringly looking at me asked me did I not have any fairytales read to me as a child. I then said to him that the bio was simply referring to the fact I did not have the most conventional upbringing. Again he passed some smart remark. So then I explained to him that I was reared by the Sisters of Mercy (Nuns) of the Good Shepard Convent in Limerick city. Again he asked (in a smart tone of voice) "What, did the nuns not read you fairytales or something? I started to get slightly pissed off at this point. Thinking to myself why the hell do I have to explain my past to this guy. You see my past was something which I never had control over and I have never let this affect how I pursue my future. I cannot change the fact that I was physically, mentality and emotionally abused as a child by my Mother and as a result was placed into dozens of foster care homes at a very early age and finally into the care of the Sisters of Mercy of the Good Shepard convent. I cannot change the fact that I never had a Mother or Father there to help me and guide me throughout my life. So this is why the opening of my bio reads "Discovering the fallibility of fairytales at an early age". But now reflecting on this encounter I see exactly why this reporter was so blunt. He could not interpret what he was reading on the screen in front of him and if what he read made no sense to him well then he certainly had a right to question what exactly did my bio mean? So really the issue was that from a reporters perspective the bio just did not make any sense and it had no substance. Now, this is completly my fault. I've never really talked about my past because when you have been socially conditioned not to talk about something for the fear of upsetting certain individuals you tend not to say much. The bio was trying to explain to the reader where my music has come from and what is the story behind the songs. So obviously my bio was not very effective at giving the reader an insight into the dark places I have been and why music is everything to me.
Here is a brief insight: Unlike most kids growing up I have been on my own. I have supported myself every single step of the way along my journey without the support of my parents. But this does not define the man I've become today. When I was young one of my foster mothers would always say to me (when I was in floods of tears) that one day when you're older, Rich, you will stand tall and say "You've done what you have done" but now I'm bigger and stronger than you could ever imagine and it's your loss not mine!! This is where my songs have come from. They have sprung from a life less ordinary, and this is what I was trying to convey in my previous bio. I then explained to the editor of the newspaper that I was lucky enough to be fostered by my best friend's mother at the age of 14 and that I spent 3 really great years with them. At the age of 17 I moved out and have been supporting myself ever since. (During this time I have single handedly put myself through university and got a degree in Physiotherapy and following on from this I produced my debut album with a gifted Grammy Award winning producer). The editors tone of voice suddenly changed and all of a sudden he seemed very interested in what I had to say. He was asking me various questions and I was gave him an insight into what it had been like growing up in a residential child care unit. All the time while we were talking I felt very uncomfortable. It always unsettles me when I speak about my past because as a child I was conditioned (by certain individuals) to feel disempowered so that I would never speak up. When I left the newspaper office, I actually felt like there was the weight of the world lifted off my shoulders. For once in my life I was actually able to tell my story to a complete stranger. For years I have blamed myself for the actions of another and they instilled the fear of god into me as a child and would tell me how useless I was and how everything was my fault.
It has taken me a long, long time to finally speak up and tell my story and be very, very proud of what I have achieved with my life so far and not to listen to what others have to say. So this is why I have chosen to write this blog. I hope that if you take anything from this blog, you will understand that you should never let your past define your future. Sure, you can learn from your past but that's it. If you let your past define you, you will never ever grow as a person. In life we all learn through experience and it's up to us to then take those experiences, learn from them, but then let them go. So my advise to you is to Never Let Your Past Define Your Future.
New Updated Bio http://www.richieros.com/about-me/#about